Posts Tagged ‘MLS’

Soccer City seems to be slowly disintegrating.  Public support for Soccer City has shrunk considerably since May.  In the meantime, the NASL has placed a professional soccer franchise in San Diego ready to play in 2018.  Does San Diego need two professional soccer teams?  No.  Will San Diego support two professional soccer teams?  No.  No is the exact point made by Kevin Acee’s criticism of San Diego (politicians, business people, voters, citizens, elderly, disabled, students, surfers and pet owners) from his 6/19/17 UT article, yet Mr. Acee found his uncomfortable truth in the word, “No”.  Mr. Acee needs to stop grappling with political reality as well as wishing on a star that MSL will “wait to add more teams” in the hope that Soccer City will win enough votes November, 2018.  No.

Mr. Acee’s comparing the Chargers hemming and hawing for years to the city council’s denial of a special election equates with comparing the Civil War to pushing and shoving.  His claim that “we’re a joke” is nonsense.  The citizens of San Diego know a tilted political favor when they see one.  FS Investors was all too cozy with the mayor’s office as evidenced by a 3,000 page document (Soccer City) that not a soul in the mayor’s office read from the first page to the last page.  Elected officials and staff need to make the time to understand what they agree to place on expensive special election ballots.  Not having time to read a War and Peace sized document does not meet the challenge of effective public stewardship.  Special elections are not doled out as praise for a job not done.

Mr. Acee writes, “But, dang, this city just won’t get out of its own way when it comes to accomplishing anything.”  Perhaps Mr. Acee could lead the charge on behalf of SDSU in building and/or renovating the Q as well as the creation of SDSU West in Mission Valley so that the largest CSU campus in the state can accommodate 50,000 students by 2030?  Perhaps?

Again, when he invokes the Chargers in comparison to Soccer City woes with “The Chargers could have gotten something done here”, Mr. Acee inadvertently points to the problem that is Soccer City:  Much like Dean Spanos, who wanted everything for nothing, so to does Soccer City see an old-fashioned land grab at minimal expense to themselves as a legitimate method of developing the last piece of sizable land in San Diego without the challenge of competing ideas.  Soccer City reeks of overbuilding, uncertain promises and Charger game day traffic seven days a week forever.

Mr. Acee disingenuously wrings his hands with the concern “. . . how long it will be before we get an alternative plan up and running at last.  At least.”  Please.  San Diego State University is engaged in presenting its vision with or without partners.  Also, other San Diego based development groups want to participate in the request for proposal process to compete against FS Investors (who seemingly seek to avoid competition).  Plenty of options from interested parties will be ready for public vetting by summer’s end.

Finally, as this piece began with the word “no”, I end with “yes’ on behalf of San Diego and SDSU West.

 

 

The inevitable finally arrives.  Dean Spanos leaves San Diego and takes the Chargers with him.  This was as likely as a slow commute on the 5.

Mr. Spanos is worth approximately $2.5 billion.  That is a lot of millions to get to those billions.  Yet, Mr. Spanos refused to gather his bankers, use his lines of credit and reach into his deep, cavernous wallet to self-finance the stadium of his choice.  Rather, Mr. Spanos insisted that San Diego’s hotels and motels finance his downtown dream stadium via a tax increase to be demanded of visitors flocking to America’s finest city.  Of course, the San Diego voting public said, “Nay”.  After all, Arizona folk need an affordable place to stay during the summer.

Mr. Spanos’ best bet was to remain in Mission Valley, knock down the Q and build a shiny new stadium a few feet away.  Alas, this practical resolution was not his dream.  Now the moving vans and trucks are full of football gear, Spanos’ household goods and the disappointment of Chargers’ fans.  The last item is quite heavy.

56 years and adios.  Love ya, miss ya, bye.

Mr. Spanos chose to pay a $550 million relocation fee, host NFL football in a 30,000 seat soccer stadium for a minimum of two years, pray that Chargers fans motor north for three hours to watch bad football and three hours south to complain about bad football, become a tenant-renter-occupant of the Rams for who knows how many years and in the end fail as a L.A. franchise, thus forced into some forsaken section of Orange County.

Now for the good news.

San Diego State University football is no longer attached to the coattails of the San Diego Chargers.  Aztec football journeys alone and is relieved to do so.

SDSU has long embraced the proposal of reshaping Mission Valley.  166 acres of cracked asphalt can at last be transformed into SDSU West, livable space and sizable green belt.  As for the Q, renovate or build a smaller version.  Either option works.

Regarding the expansion of SDSU as a university, I dismiss the morons who have yet to discover or acknowledge that the university engages in biological research, embraces engineering and interdisciplinary sciences and has risen in national academic stature dating back to the days of Dr. Stephen Weber as president of the university and carried forth by Dr. Elliot Hirshman.  SDSU entering Mission Valley offers substantial opportunity to the city, county and regional economy.

Yet, let me not drift from Aztec football.  Whether we partner with the rumored Major League Soccer franchise (paraphrasing the MLS commissioner Dan Garber, “San Diego is more attractive to us” given the Chargers exit) or enjoy the support (money) of the city and county of San Diego accompanied by the influence of CSU and the state legislature leading to an exclusive SDSU football stadium, one is the other.

As for athletic director John David Wicker’s concern regarding seating capacity of 30,000 in the instance of MLS partnership in a new or renovated stadium, let me remind him that portable seating sections have been in use at the Q for decades, so employ that, um, technology to boost Aztec seating to 35,000.  Revolutionary.

The Chargers bolting (sorry, could not resist) provides a rare opportunity for Aztec football.  The long-held complaint of we-need-a-campus-based-football-stadium is soon to be addressed and solved.  The reality of an Aztec football stadium also opens doors long closed to, at the very least, actual consideration of joining another conference.  No, I’m not stating that any such invitation is in the near future.  But, the business of conference realignment is nowhere near complete.  The photo of division one football in 2016 will not resemble the near future reality of division one football as ESPN, FOX, CBS and NBC broadcasting contracts begin to expire.  SDSU football will be best served with a stadium home to Aztec football.

Here’s to the immediate future.